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Old 05-19-2011, 12:11 AM   #326
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2005 wrx


i learned something new!!
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:30 PM   #327
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2003 Impreza WRX


agreed... i did the basic slotted rotors and upgraded the stock brake pads
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Old 05-20-2011, 05:26 PM   #328
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2007 Impreza sti
Pearl White


very nice write up although i did the breaks on my car before i did anything because i think the stock pads do heat up quick and when i would drive excessive on a back road or something i would get fade but i upgraded to the hawk hps and i have yet to get brake fade and ive been really hard on them but stopping is stopping. i just changed them for the heat aspect it doesent stop any better though
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Old 06-04-2011, 06:31 PM   #329
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2002 WRX


Question for all the brake experts... I have an 02 WRX and I am looking to upgrade my brakes for 2 reasons...
1) I have had trouble with the brakes overheating, both during rallycross (brake fade almost caused me to rearend someone who decided to stop right after the finish line) and regular highway driving (stopped too hard after an offramp and got brake pad transfer to the pads causing bad vibration under braking). I want to do some track days and I'm pretty sure I would die if I kept my brakes stock.

2) Pedal feel. It sucks with the stock brakes.

So far I have bought some used 4-pot front calipers and I'm trying to choose what else to buy. I have my mind pretty much set on SS lines and HPS Pads, and I'll probably just stick to crappy AutoZone rotors since those don't seem to make much difference according to everyone.

So here is my question, would the H6 upgrade be worth it for me? Since I have the 02 calipers already it would be pretty cheap for me, about $160 from Subaru Genuine Parts. Would I notice a difference vs. the stock rotor size?
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:05 PM   #330
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02 WRX
12 FXT


H6 is awesome. Thats it. Do it or rear Brembos if you need the extra heat dissipation.
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:54 PM   #331
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agreed i upgraded my brakes to slotted rotors n ceramic pads
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:01 AM   #332
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Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
2015 WRX


Could make this alot shorter by just saying that tires are the most important mod to any car in any situation. The OP is confusing and far too lengthy. Try cleaning it up with some bullets and summarizations, thanks.
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:18 AM   #333
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Location: Bergenfield, NJ
2002 WRX


^ Agreed

Took me 3 hours to read the whole thing. Someone people have the attention span of a child, take your time and read the whole post. OP is the the universal truth for most drivers; autox and track and totally different stories.

Thank you very much for the great and informative write up.
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Old 06-08-2011, 02:41 PM   #334
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Location: Salt Lake City, UT
2003 2.5RS


Great write up
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Old 06-08-2011, 03:42 PM   #335
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Chapter/Region: E. Canada
Location: Quebec, QC
2008 2.5i-hatch -
now with a HID retrofit


Bulletpoint resume?

1. Stopping distance is ultimately limited only and exclusively by tire friction on the road.

2. Any car with stock cool brakes is able to engage in an emergency stopping manouver of a fully loaded car to a point that exceeds the tire friction limits (i.e. locking tires).

3. The sensitivity of the brake pedal along its travel path, or the strength of braking under initial and moderate pressure on the brake pedal has ZERO impact on the minimum stopping distance.

Corollary 1: If you can apply sufficient braking pressure so as to lock the tires / engage the ABS, you've exceeded the maximum grip of tires on the surface. In this situation. which is true for 100% of stock cars, NO brake upgrades WHATSOEVER will change your braking distance over that single event.

Corollary 2: No matter if your brakes feel weak or strong, no matter whether you need to feather the pedal or slam it, if you can ABS/lock the tires, your minimal braking distance remains the same

Corollary 3: If your brake system is able to ABS/lock the tires, the ONLY improvement of braking distances can be acheived by having better tires

4: All of the above assumed a single braking event. For REPEATED braking episodes, heat dissipation of the brakes as well as their ability to function properly comes into play. Whereas ALL cars can acheive minimum stopping ranges under a SINGLE emergency stop, the subsequent braking response for repeated events (i.e on a track ) will vary.

5. Overheated brakes lose their braking ability

Corollary 4: In a situation involving repeated braking, the heat dissipation of brake systems at some point will be insufficient to properly cool the brakes down in between each braking sequence.

Thus, a point will be reached where the effect of heat WILL degrade the performance of the brakes to the point that they will be UNABLE to reach maximum tire grip. In this, and this situation only, the braking distance will increase, being limited by brakes and not the tires. This is also where "brake upgrades" are justified.

Last edited by Bluefoton; 06-08-2011 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:18 AM   #336
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Location: Arlington, MA
2009 OBS
two-tone silver

Subaru Stars Thanks for the insight-

Some of which I was aware, but i just upgraded my rotors and pads, vented and slotted rotors, exact same size as stock, and the pads are ceramic to reduce brake dust. was this a good call, or should I prepare for rotors cracking? I tend to drive a lot of country corners, and the reason why i upgraded, was in an attempt to reduce the likelyhood of warping rotors, 33k and i've warped the OEM rotors, and again after i had them resurfaced. (I have a pic. but bc i'm new, i can't upload a pic into this post)

ne insight? thanks in advance
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Old 06-12-2011, 02:12 AM   #337
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very helpful thread, Thanks.
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:47 PM   #338
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2002 Impreza 2.5 rs


good post
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:39 AM   #339
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2002 WRX Stage 2 kit


Good stuff to know!
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Old 07-02-2011, 06:41 PM   #340
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Location: Victorville CA (SoCal)
2004 STI


Great post man. So many people slack on getting a good quality tire. If they read this they will indeed change their mind
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:14 AM   #341
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Location: Coral Springs, FL
2011 Impreza WRX Ltd
SS St. 2 Phatbotti tuned

Wink Helpful...for the most part

I just purchased my first WRX last tuesday (July 5th). I just got out of a VW GTI. The GTI, although it is a great car, doesn't even compare to the WRX for many reasons but I won't get into all that now.

Your thread makes a lot of sense. I asked if the Subaru dealership could upgrade my brakes to the Brembos. Needless to say, I didn't get them and I am glad I didn't.

That being said, stopping distance also depends on the weight of a car. In an "Oh Hsit!"situation, you are correct in that nothing is going to bring a car to a sudden halt. However, good brakes, tires and weight of a car is going to make all the difference in the world if inches matter.

Let's say my base WRX Limited with its stock brakes and tires needs to come to a halt because I'm distracted with my iPod and I am coming up on a red light where other cars in front of me have stopped. I hit the brakes and I stop two inches from the car in front of me.

Let's say now that I have upgraded my car with various different things which has increased the weight of the car by some 300-400 lbs. Same scenario as above. I have to stop rapidly. I guarantee you that I will hit the car in front of me. Now, I suspect that even brembos wouldn't help me.

I am merely suggesting here that weight is indeed a large factor
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:31 PM   #342
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Well said.
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Old 07-24-2011, 06:07 PM   #343
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:14 PM   #344
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Chapter/Region: MWSOC
2006 WRX STI
Crystal Grey Metallic


Thanks for the info, new Subby owner so I've been collecting a lot of facts from different people. And their opinions.
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Old 07-29-2011, 04:23 AM   #345
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Location: central wisconsin
94 Ranger Truck
world rusty blue


What are good rotors to buy then? I just purchased some centric rotors with some badass pads and up graded my tires to the potenza all seasons. What is some things to look for when purchasing brake upgrades besides cross drilled slotted? What materials are best for pads and rotors? What about the suspension?
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:03 PM   #346
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Location: Walled Lake, MI
2005 SAAB 9-2x


It's all about usage. I've taken my car to a couple of all day track days, and the BBK definitely made a difference. No fade, and much more confident diving into the corners. While steel lines don't do a think for stopping distance improvement, they can help protect a really important piece of your car (the fluid that makes it stop) and improve pedal feel slightly with less flex, which can also add to confidence in your vehicle. For a daily driver? Only do it if you need to have the bling.
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:30 AM   #347
Mark Grant
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Member#: 289554
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2002 WRX


Got 122,XXX miles on the STOCK brake pads 02 WRX. Took a gnarly canyon run over Ukiah/Comptche Rd yesterday form Ukiah to the coast in Mendocino. Made the trip both ways in an hour exactly each time. Had the car off the ground once. Basically tore it up staying in my lane and had a blast. My point? The worn out stock brakes worked flawlessly. We exclusively run the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S on the stock 16 inch wheels. I recommend those tires to everybody. I'm going to gopro my next trip to the coast as there were some great moments out there yesterday.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:24 PM   #348
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2016 981 GTS
2017 991.2 C2S X51PK


There are many points I agree with and in particular the importance of tires.

However, if you have high quality tires and add higher quality, higher coefficient of friction brake pads with slotted rotors you do improve stopping distance.

Why, the high coefficient of friction brake pads "bite" (increase brake torque) and hold the brake rotor better than the lower coefficient of friction OEM pads (brake torque is proportional to coefficient of fiction for any given brake pad), moreover as pads of this type are designed to work better at higher temperatures they will maintain the bite in an emergency stop situation. Furthermore, the gas and debris generated in this type of situation will be removed by the slots in the brake rotor again ensuring maximum bite.

The change in stopping distance with my setup (Advan Neova 08 tires, Ferrodo DS2500 pads and DBA 5000/4000 rotors) is about 20 ft shorter from 60 mph than stock. Obviously this is a life saver. I know because I have measured it.

Some test results: - 4 cars tested under the same conditions, at the same location on the same day (stopping distance from 62 mph, specifications and results as published in Motor Magazine, 08/11 - note this test was conducted in Australia with Australian spec vehicles)

1) 2011 STi - 125 ft, brakes 365f/324r (mm diam front/rear), rim width 8.5 in, Dunlop SP600 (car weight 1.515 tonnes)
2) Focus RS - 135 ft, brakes 336f/302r, rim width 8.5 in, Continental Sport Contact (car weight 1.493 tonnes)
3) 2011 WRX - 136 ft, brakes 294f/286r, rim width 8.0 in, Dunlop SP01 (car weight 1.410 tonnes)
4) Megane RS - 138 ft, brakes 290f/290r, rim width 8.5 in, Continental Sport Contact (1.387 tonnes)

The car with the largest diameter front brake rotor stops in the shortest distance (or total effective diameter, note: the reason it stops in a shorter distance will be a combination of tires, pads, suspension and rotors) the same is true where the rim width and tire type is the same (e.g. Focus Vs. Megane)

Wider tires can be dangerous when roads are inundated with rain water.

Why, because they have a larger surface area and are therefore more prone to aquaplaning (lower surface contact pressure - if the wicking doesn't cope with the amount of water under tread).

Towing - improved brakes are recommended for towing as this puts extra load on the brakes - braking whilst towing generates a substantial amount of heat in the brake rotors - high - C or larger rotors dissipate the heat more effectively - protecting bearings, pads and rotors.

Bottom line, brakes can be upgraded leading to better stopping distance and improved long term performance especially if you have high performance tires. By the same token ensure you have the right tires for the conditions you most commonly encounter.

Key points: performance
(1) Buy high quality tires (this improves grip) - with OEM pads - shorter stopping distance
(2) Buy high quality, moderate to hi-t, higher coefficient of friction brake pads = higher brake torque - even shorter stopping distance than (1)
(3) Buy replacement high - C, ventilated slotted rotors - they can improve brake torque due to gas release and clearance of pad surface - even shorter stopping distance than (2)
(4) Buy larger replacement high-C, ventilated rotors if you do a lot of braking e.g. hilly areas, towing, motor sport - the high thermal mass effectively stops overheating of the brake components and fluid - e.g. your brakes do not go off
(5) In my view cross drilled rotors are largely cosmetic, they substantially reduce brake surface area and are not suitable for hi-t applications e.g. motor sport or towing.

key points: feel (feel does not equal improved equipment performance although it can improve driver performance)
(1) Use low compressibility, hi bpt brake fluid
(2) Fit brake master cylinder support
(3) replace brake lines with braided stainless lines - these must be high quality with high quality fittings to minimise chance of failure

Last edited by RandR; 08-29-2011 at 10:52 PM. Reason: Another point
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:12 PM   #349
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Location: Traffic jam NYC
2012 STI


good stuff right here!
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Old 08-28-2011, 01:36 AM   #350
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Location: California
07 Impreza WRX
UGM soon to be CGM


I knew I should have got new tires.

Now I have to deal with a couple thousand worth of damage. sadly.
I am a noob.

great post, learned quite a sum of information.
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